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Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

Flavorful soft shell crab, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a zesty sauce make for a perfect sandwich.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: soft shell crab, soft shell crab sandwich, fried soft shell crab, crab
Author: Melissa Reome


  • 4 soft shell crabs, thawed and dressed (cleaned)
  • 2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning (or other seafood seasoning)
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
  • 2 red tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce (may adjust to your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp capers, small, drained and chopped
  • 1 lemon use 1 tsp for recipe and slice the rest for garnish
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)


Make Lemon Caper Aioli

  • Mix mayonnaise, capers, hot sauce, lemon juice until well combined. Season with fresh ground black pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Ideally, make at least 30 minutes ahead of time.

Cook Bacon

  • Skillet method: Place bacon in room temperature in skillet in a single layer and cook over medium heat. Slowly cook the bacon, flipping periodically until the bacon is as crispy as you prefer. Place bacon on a paper towel on a plate to drain off excess fat. Hold until needed.
    Oven Method: Place bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet. To minimize clean up time, line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cook bacon in 400°F oven until desired level of crispness or approximately 25-35 minutes depending on thickness of bacon.

Prep Vegetables

  • Make sure lettuce is washed and pat dry, and tomatoes have been sliced. Set aside until ready to assemble sandwich.

Fry Crabs

  • Preheat oil to 375°F in fry pan or a sauce pan.
  • Mix flour and Old Bay seasoning until well combined. Add to shallow dish or bowl.
  • Mix egg whites and ice cold water together and whisk well to combine. Add to shallow dish or bowl.
  • Pat crabs dry with a paper towel then dip into flour, then into egg/water mixture, then back in flour mixture. Carefully shake off excess then place into hot oil.
  • Fry crabs for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy. Flip crabs at least once in oil to ensure even cooking. Remove crabs from oil and place on either an wire rack over a tray to drain off excess oil, or place on a paper towel lined plate.

Assemble sandwich.

  • Place lettuce, crab, tomato, bacon and aioli on sandwich roll. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.